Hot peppers keep getting hotter each year, and are becoming more and more a challenge for gardeners to grow. Whether you like to add them to recipes or to enjoy them as a snack – ghost, scorpion and Carolina Reapers are still the top of the scoville chart and the plants may put out more peppers than you need in a year.
I’m not sure why I started growing Ghost peppers a few years ago, I only like moderately spicy things. And just a small slice can take your jams and jellies to another level and give anyone eating it a surprise they didn’t expect. But each year – I only use a couple and seem to be left with bowls of hot peppers. Because, despite not using them that often, I really I enjoy growing super hot peppers and the plants do really really well for me.
This year hasn’t been any different than ones in the past, I have three hot pepper plants in the garden – two ghosts and one Scorpion. Next to them are the bell peppers, poblanos and jalapenos. But in a row alone are the super hot peppers that seem to light up daily with red and orange hot peppers that are now ready to enjoy.
Since I don’t use them as quick as the plant likes to provide me fruit, I am left with the choice to pack more bags in the back of my freezer, or to come up with another way to save them for later. So this year, we’re pickling our extra hot peppers. I always forget how easy it is to pickle items, and how quick it is to preserve your extra goodies.
- 1 1/2 lbs of Scorpion, Ghost or any other hot pepper – whole and leave the stem on.
- 6 cups of White Vinegar 5% acidity
- 2 cups of Water
- 1/2 cup Pickling Salt
- Garlic and Spices- Optional
- Hand pack your whole peppers into your clean and warm jars. Pack in as many as possible without crushing them. You may want to pierce the skins of each pepper a little with a knife tip so the pickling brine will enter easier.
- In a medium sauce pan (non aluminum) add in your salt, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and stir until your sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Ladle your hot vinegar mixture over your peppers, leaving 1/2 inch head space. It’s ok if your pepper stick up above this.
- Place your lid and bands on and process with the instructions below!
- Place 8 clean pint jars on a rack in your stock pot. Fill the jars and stock pot with cool water until it completely covers the top of the jars. Cover and put on medium heat. Simmer but do not boil.
- Prepare 8 lid sets, put the bands aside and put the flat lids in a small sauce pan and put on medium heat. Do not boil, but keep warm through the whole process.
- Prepare your ingredients according to the directions above.
- Now, remove the jars from the warm bath. Tip them as you pull them out and pour the water back into the pan. Place them on a towel on the counter with the opening up. Do not dry them! Just put them down and put the funnel in. Put your ingredients in your jars. into each jar until there is about 1/2 inch of space in the top. Once all jars are full, take a plastic or wooden utensil and move it around to get extra air bubbles out.
- Take the small magnet tool and remove flat lids from their hot bath. Place over top of each jar. By hand screw on the collars, but not too tight! Remember some air still needs to get out of each jar.
- Place the jars back into the hot stock pot and replace the lid. Turn your temperature up to high. When it starts to do a rolling boil, start a timer for 10 minutes.
- After the jars have processed for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the lid to the pan. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove all the jars without tipping them and place them back on the towel. Remember – don’t towel them off!